TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

African Union head cautions US on Africa

Thursday, 07 August 2014 Published: | SAPA

Source: IOL News

 

If the United States does not take more interest in Africa it is going to lose out, African Union commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Thursday.

“It's in their advantage to know what's happening in Africa because if they don't come to the party eventually the party will happen without them,” she said in Washington.

“Business people really know about Africa from the media and American media is not really kind on Africa. They tend to report what bleeds and leads.” The AU commission chair made reference to the closing press conference by US president Barack Obama on Wednesday after a three-day US-Africa Leaders Summit.

Most of the questions were asked by The White House press corps and were not focused on what happened at the summit but on issues such as the conflict in Gaza and the Ukraine. Dlamini-Zuma attended the US-Africa summit representing the African Union Commission. This was despite the United States not organising the event through the AU.

Obama sent individual invitations to a little more than 40 African countries, leaving out some AU partners such as Zimbabwe. The summit was the first of its kind, initiated by Obama after his visit to the African continent last year.

Dlamini-Zuma said the AU stepped in behind the scenes to help the US communicate with some African countries. She said there were frank exchanges between African leaders and the US during a summit.

“This was the first time they actually have had a collective interaction with the head of state from the US. “They were happy to have the opportunity to say the things they wanted to say to the US.”

Dlamini-Zuma said African leaders were hoping this was not a once-off summit and wanted further engagement. “I got the impression that they actually enjoyed the summit, particularly interacting with business, because at a lot of summits you don't have that,” she said.

“It was unique.”

She said the summit was a success and in her mind a historic moment. She was the only woman to attend the summit as a leader in Africa. Issues of gender empowerment and equality were discussed at the summit.

There was emphasis on business at the summit. “Africa is wanting to transform its economies so we need to change the structure of our economies. Business people who come (to Africa) should have that in mind,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

America was still the biggest outside investor in Africa but it was mostly in the extracting industry. She said the continent was hoping new investments from America would help in manufacturing and industrialisation.

AU Dlamini Zuma600px

 

View related news articles

Renewal of AGOA a benefit to both US and Africa

Renewal of AGOA a benefit to both US and Africa

Following the conclusion of the US-Africa Summit in Washington DC last week, it is opportune to reflect on some of the outcomes for SA and Africa. On the eve of the summit, ministers of trade from those African countries that are eligible for the trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) called upon the US to seamlessly and timeously extend Agoa...

13 August, 2014
Rep. Karen Bass - Pictures from forum Cannon House event (during 2014 AGOA Forum)

Rep. Karen Bass - Pictures from forum Cannon House event (during 2014 AGOA Forum)

Growth and Opportunity in Africa Forum in coordination with the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Tuesday, August 5, 2014  [Please note - this event has concluded]   9:00 AM - 12:30 PM Cannon Caucus Room (345 Cannon House Office Building) U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Panel One 9:00 – 10:30 am Moderator: Dr. Monde Muyangwa Africa Program...

11 August, 2014
14 years of AGOA: Why no real Africa intra-trade?

14 years of AGOA: Why no real Africa intra-trade?

When President Bill Clinton signed the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) into law 14 years ago, he offered incentives for African countries to open their economies and build free markets, to move the continent from an aid dependency to a viable trading partner. That is why at their summit hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington, 50 African heads of states,...

07 August, 2014
US-Africa Leaders Summit: CEOs promise to push AGOA further

US-Africa Leaders Summit: CEOs promise to push AGOA further

The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday hosted an event titled “A Dialogue With African CEOs” that brought together women and minority business owners, chief executives from across Africa and US and SME entrepreneurs. The focus of the panel discussion was to examine possible business partnerships between African business and government with their...

07 August, 2014
US urged by Africa's leaders to extend AGOA trade programme

US urged by Africa's leaders to extend AGOA trade programme

African leaders urged the US on Monday to renew a trade benefits programme giving duty-free access to billions of dollars of African exports for 15 years, saying it would help cement trade relations and boost development in sub-Saharan Africa. President Jacob Zuma, one of nearly 50 African leaders in Washington to attend a three-day summit, said the renewal of the African...

06 August, 2014
South Africa welcomes Obama's backing of AGOA

South Africa welcomes Obama's backing of AGOA

  South Africa has welcomed the commitment by US President Barack Obama to support the continuation and enhancement of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). Obama made the remarks at the US-Africa Business Forum in Washington on Tuesday. His backing of a new Agoa term came as a pleasant surprise to many, who have been waiting to hear Obama's position on the...

06 August, 2014
Kenya: President Kenyatta's presence at US Africa summit 'expected to end frosty relations'

Kenya: President Kenyatta's presence at US Africa summit 'expected to end frosty relations'

The US has recently cut down its embassy staff in Nairobi and also pushed back funding for various projects and programmes in the country. This has impacted negatively on business and stakeholders are hoping that President Uhuru Kenyatta's presence at the ongoing US-Africa leadership forum in Washington DC will end the frosty relations between Kenya and the US. "We hope...

06 August, 2014
Africa seeks technological partnership at US-Africa summit

Africa seeks technological partnership at US-Africa summit

Africa is looking to the United States for help modernizing industry and combating terrorism, according to the deputy chairman of the African Union (AU). Erastus Mwencha also said AU officials are negotiating with Washington at the U.S.-Africa summit to improve the trade framework in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to include investment opportunities for...

06 August, 2014
AGOA Forum: Nigerian Entrepreneur seeks removal of barriers on AGOA

AGOA Forum: Nigerian Entrepreneur seeks removal of barriers on AGOA

An Abuja-based Agriculture entrepreneur, Mrs Esta Charles-Ayede, has urged the U.S Government to remove barriers inhibiting some African countries from fully utilising the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity (AGOA). Ayede made the submission at a roundtable between local entrepreneurs in Abuja and the U.S Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development...

06 August, 2014
Obama sees US opportunities in Africa

Obama sees US opportunities in Africa

US President Barack Obama said the fast growing economies of Africa represent one of the greatest opportunities for the US to extend its commercial reach and doing so requires a concerted effort by business and government. The president highlighted $33 billion (R356 billion) in commitments to Africa: $14 billion in investments by companies including General Electric and...

06 August, 2014